Yes, I know it’s a shocker, but I’ve doing some reflecting this week! Hah!
I was thinking about giving and tithing. Not a super fun topic for some! I was thinking about why my family tithes to God through our local Church (Thrive). I was thinking about why we believe the tithe is be returned first (on the Gross) and that 10% is just a starting point. I was thinking about all the years I screwed this up. I was thinking about all the excuses I gave for not returning back to God what He blessed us with. I was thinking about what God has done in my family since we started to not screw this area up.
And, I was thinking about all the life change that happens because people take this obedient step in their faith. Its just amazing!
For instance…at Thrive alone:
- A few Sunday’s ago we were able to bring in Dr. Tom Rundel from Liminal Living to teach on anger. His grasp on the depths of scripture is unreal and he has a way to bring it alive and apply it so well! He was a huge blessing.
- On our TWO year anniversary as a Church, we were able to give HopeWell Ranch a gift of $1000.
- Last Sunday, someone trusted in Jesus! 7 people have in the last 7 weeks! And, 8 people were baptized in October! ONLY GOD!
- Last Sunday, we were able to bring in a guest worship leader (Jimmy Savage) who was used by God to bless a lot of people and point them to Jesus.
- This Sunday we’re able to bring in THE SPARK and give our musicians a rest and to inspire them. AND…again, people will be blessed and people will be pointed to Jesus through an amazing time of worship.
- And, we’re hosting a free concert with THE SPARK at Plachta on the campus of CMU!
- Last Sunday, lonely, hurting and depressed people were encouraged with scripture and the truth of God’s word.
- Last Sunday, scripture was taught to help people deal with confrontation and conflict and I’ve received a few emails this week about how it helped people to take some necessary steps toward restoration.
- Last Sunday, people showed up early to serve other people. That’s always a win for the Kingdom!
- Last Sunday, adults and students poured into, loved and taught kids about Jesus!
- Last night, students gathered at One Youth! They were welcomed into a loving environment that’s fun, that points them to Jesus, teaches them about worship and gives them a chance to be in a small group so they can have an adult pouring into their life and a small group community.
- This week multiple families were helped with some very practical needs. Gas money, grocery money and help with bills.
- People are donating coats, hats and gloves to be given away through a community outreach.
- People visited Thrive’s Counseling Center and received some much needed help with their heart and soul and working through some of the complex issues that they’re dealing with.
- Our Thrive staff met for staff meeting and prayed over the requests from Sunday and lifted other requests in prayer.
- Speaking of our Thrive staff, there are families that are provided for because of their staff position at Thrive Church. They receive a salary and are able to take care of their kids.
- In a week and a half, 4th and 5th graders will head to SpringHill Camp for a life changing weekend retreat and some of them will receive financial help from others in our church.
- Next year our middle and high school students will head to a winter retreat and a summer camp and that will happen in part because of people’s generosity.
- Marriages have been saved. Relationships have been healed.
- People have fallen in love with Jesus.
It’s extremely simple to say, but all that just doesn’t happen without people taking the obedient step to honor God with their finances and to return a portion back to God.
I’ve had people tell me (not face to face but through someone else) that they’ve left Thrive because they think we talk about tithing or giving and money too much. I make no apologies for the fact that we point people to what scripture teaches about money.
And, I always say, you’ve got to figure this out between you and God. If you can’t start at 10%, then just prayerfully decide between you and God what you will give and give sacrificially and generously. And, if you don’t want to give or believe you shouldn’t have too, then don’t. You are still welcomed, wanted and accepted at Thrive!
I just know that I am proud of the fact that I’m a part of a Church that’s making a difference in my community and that when my family gives sacrificially (and yes, it’s a sacrifice, it’s not easy) I’m helping to extend Christ’s love to my community.
And, there are so many other churches in our community that are doing the same thing!
I’m so proud of my Church! I’m proud to be a part of a community of people who give so others can be reached for Jesus.